"The most important Yoga"
Hello beautiful friends,
I'm inspired to share with you today, something that I hope may help you to cultivate a more committed or passionate approach to your physical and mental self-care, health and growth... get your juices flowing! Or at least keep you firmly on your path.
This transcript here and video (link below) is of the incredibly inspiring Australian yogi Simon Borg-Olivier. He speaks comprehensively yet ever so simply, describing the practices of yoga - the Yamas and Niyamas, the first two stages of the eight-limbed path of ancient yogic philosophy for purifying the body and mind. At the same time we see an amazing demonstration of his physical prowess, breath control and mental focus.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to cultivate a steady mind, leading to calm and joyful bliss. This is what I wish for you this Christmas and if that feels somewhat ambitious from your current perspective, then let it be your intention, focus and inspiration for 2019. As Simon says...
Look after your body and mind, your inner Self first ... and all else will follow.
Read on or go straight to the video (copy and paste this link).
It's so worth 5 minutes of your time.
The Path of Yama and Niyama
“For me yoga is a way of life. I live by the first two stages of yoga, Yama and Niyama.
Yama for me is to live and to practice in a way which is gentle, balanced, giving, of nourishment and freedom.
Gentle is Ahimsa;
Balanced is Satya;
Giving, the opposite of taking, is Asteya,
And for me Bramacharia means not to not make love but rather to nourish relationships. And,
Aparigraha, non-attachment, means to be free.
Niyama means to me the passionate inner quest to remove the obstacles to happiness and loving connection.
Salcha is to clean or for me it’s to remove the obstacles that block the movement of energy inside us. We need to tense less, stretch more or make our body move in more balanced ways. We need to breathe less… fitness is when you learn to do things whilst breathing less. Do more things while breathing less. Think less. Concentrate. Focus more.
Santosha is sometimes said to be contentment but actually it’s the choice to feel how you want to feel. Santosha is the choice to be happy, not to wait to be happy… to recognise that happiness is not something you wait for but something you choose. You can choose misery as well but happiness is a good choice if you want it.
Tapas is not just ardour or austerity it’s more the burning desire, the passionate desire to do your best.
Svadyaya is not just study but it’s inner study, the study of self. Find out what you’re here for, why you’re here, who we are, why we are.
Ishvara pranidhana is not just devotion to an external god but is the recognition that we are all connected, connected like a mother and child in love. For me, it’s the devotional recognition that we live in an ocean of love.
So I try and live by three principles:
Enjoy your life sounds selfish but you can enjoy your life as a choice. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how you are, enjoy it as a choice and it’s a good choice.
Look after your body because without looking after your body you can’t do much in your life. The most important thing perhaps you can do with your body is to help other people enjoy their lives.
A better world
And if the world could live like this, the world would be a better place I think and therefore it’s our personal commitment every day to do something, your personal practice, your yoga, your meditation, your walk, whatever you do.
Some people don’t even want to call what they do yoga, but allow yourself that personal time to connect with yourself, to give some love to yourself, to appreciate yourself, to give some space, time and energy to yourself. So that once you’ve given to yourself and you know what gentle, loving care for yourself feels like then you can share it with others.
Give it to yourself first, look after your own body first, your own health first and once you’ve done that, a little bit every day, then give it to the world. Share it with your family, your friends, the people you love, the people you don’t know, even the people you don’t like and make it the most important yoga, the yoga of connection, to connect with others, to connect with the world, and to eventually recognise and appreciate and make full use of the fact that we are all fully connected as one family, one Universe in Love.
I think this is the most important yoga."
Happy Christmas and New Year.
I look forward to seeing you next year (if not before) for another trip around the sun.
Namaste & JOY,